THE West Indies' final International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup match against Australia on Saturday will mark the end of an era as it is the last time Dwayne Bravo, 38, and possibly one or two other West Indies T20 stalwarts will play for West Indies in a major international competition.
The campaign has not gone according to plan for the two-time winners as they will play for pride against Australia, from 6 am (TT time), on Saturday.
West Indies, champions in 2012 and 2016, have no chance of qualifying for the semifinals from group one with one win and three losses to date.
West Indies defeated Bangladesh, but lost to England, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
The tournament marks the last time fans will see several of the West Indies stalwarts in one team, many of who helped West Indies lift the titles in 2012 and 2016.
On Friday, speaking at a media conference, Hetmyer said, “Having (the experienced players) there is always good, knowing that they are always around to ask questions to them. They always find a way to shed some light…now that we have lost two of our best T20 players or the best T20 players in the world it is going to be a little bit difficult, but I think they would have shared enough information with the younger players in the team that we should learn from and keep doing the right things and so on.”
Bravo, who was part of both the 2012 and 2016 title-winning teams, announced on Thursday that Saturday’s match will be his last in West Indies colours. Chris Gayle, 42, is in the twilight of his career and is expected to hang up his boots in the near future.
Ravi Rampaul, Lendl Simmons, captain Kieron Pollard, Andre Fletcher and Andre Russell are all aged between 33 and 37 years old.
West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer, one of the younger players in the team, said the next generation of players should play their natural game.
“For the younger players it’s basically to express yourself and just be yourself when you get to (the) international stage (and) not to cloud your mind too much, just go out and do what you do best which is either bat or bowl and with the coaches help and some other players you will only get better.”
Hetmyer scored an unbeaten 81 to give West Indies a glimmer of hope in a 20-run loss to Sri Lanka, on Thursday.
Hetmyer said his strategy was to target the fast bowlers and survive Sri Lanka’s potent spin attack.
“I was just trying to give the team and give myself a chance really because I knew at the time the spinners were the only ones who posted a danger for any one of the batsmen at the crease so with pace on the ball it would have been much easier.”